Three reasons to release your music beyond the Soundcloud

In this post Thomas van Wijk (@thomasvanwijk) explains three key reasons why relying solely on Soundcloud won’t help your music career. Thomas’s startup company Songflow is building solutions to solve these problems for independent artist around the globe.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Soundcloud a lot. They provide some powerful tools for sharing music online and connecting with listeners. It’s no wonder 180 million people actively use the platform. However for artists seeking to boost their career in music Soundcloud’s strength is also it’s biggest downfall. We live in a world where attention is everything. It’s the most sought after and scarce value driver for any online media/entertainment business. Yes that includes you: the musicians, band member, producer or artist manager.

SpaceShuttleSoundcloud is so broadly accepted, that it should play a significant role in the discovery of upcoming artists. Yet I’ve never heard of a success story from Soundcloud as we did in the days of MySpace. Thinking about this problem I finally came up with three reasons why relying on Soundcloud isn’t helping your music career and what you can do about it today:


1. Too much music

It’s said that users upload 10hrs. of audio to Soundcloud every minute. Almost all the artists I ask use the service. Now think about your prospective fans. Are they exclusively listening to new artists on Soundcloud? Do they magically discover your songs while surfing the platform? Sharing your tracks on Soundcloud might be convenient, but it’s hardly a unique selling point if millions are doing the same thing every day.


2. Where’s the money?

Soundcloud doesn’t provide a way for artists to get paid for the use of their recordings. Services such as: Spotify, Deezer, and Rdio account every streams. So in addition to being valuable to listeners they also provide an income for content providers. I don’t mean this to attack Soundcloud in any way, but music streaming is the fastest growing market in digital music sales. It has already taken over downloads as dominant type of music service in some European countries and will continue to take over the world in the coming years. Artists who take their career seriously and want to be discoverd should try to create maximum value around their content and fan base. If that means shifting your sharing activities to more commercial social music services. Go for it!


3. Reach out to streaming subscribers

Who do you want to have as fans? Yes, the premium subscribers to streaming services: loyal active music lovers who pay ten bucks each month to have unlimited access to the world’s greatest music. For example: I use Spotify. I pay for it. Think about the work I have to do to come to your Soundcloud page and listen to your tracks. My phone is already filled with offline playlists. Remember: attention is everything in today’s online music market. Make it easy for me and the 20+ million other subscribers by distributing your content to a service I actively enjoy and use, not just one you find easy and is free to work with.


Building solutions

I know it’s not easy to deal with the technical, legal and financial issues of a full-blown digital release. It might even be a bit scary to reach out beyond your own social circle. I often meet artists who dream of “making it” in music, but with no clue on how to get there. I founded Songflow to help those artists with a simple solution. Soundcloud made sharing sounds across the web simple and fun. Songflow is doing the same thing for releasing your music to popular music services, sharing your discography with fans and collecting sales revenue. We want you to feel good about taking that next step in your music career. Experience it for yourself at

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